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Proudly Napier

Word from our Mayor - Kirsten Wise 

Mayor Kirsten Wise Portraits Westshore May 2020 16

Kia ora koutou, 

COVID-19 has again caused disruption to our community, forcing the sad cancellation of the Art Deco Festival, for the first time in its history.

Luckily we were still able to hold our 90th commemoration of the Hawke’s Bay Earthquake on 3 February at the Veronica Sunbay.

It was an honour to speak at this special event, to remember the lives that were lost, and to celebrate the resilience of those who rebuilt our city.

Events to look forward to this coming month – provided the pandemic doesn’t upset things again – include Children’s Day on 6 March, which also marks the start of Seaweek 2021, and the two Crowded House concerts the weekend of 6-7 March.

We do appreciate your input as ratepayers and residents. Our deliberations on changes to rates policies, following seven weeks community consultation led to amendments to our proposals. They seek to strike a balance between your concerns, and smoothing out the complex, historical rating categories we inherited when we amalgamated with the Hawke’s Bay County Council more than 30 years ago.

The past year has been tough, and I encourage those of you worried about rates to contact us for advice. Next month we will be hearing submissions to the Gambling Venues and Psychoactive Policies.

If you are quick, you may still be able to provide some feedback on our Parks and Reserves consultation, which is open until this Sunday (28 February).
We had a great reaction to our LTP socialisation campaign. We asked you to “kick back, give us your feedback” on what you think is important for Napier’s future – and you certainly did, with more than 450 people responding. Consultation for the Long Term Plan 2021-31 is coming soon, in April, and will be followed by that for the draft District Plan.

Last but certainly not least, in this edition we feature a story on our new Chief Executive, Dr Stephanie Rotarangi, who joined NCC on 9 February. Do please make her feel welcome if you see her out and about in town.

What's happening in Napier 

Say Kia Ora to Steph RotarangiIMG 4675 Resize

Dr Steph Rotarangi didn’t hesitate to say yes to becoming Napier City Council’s new Chief Executive.

It’s been 19 years since she and husband Ants last lived in Napier, but it’s “a privilege” to be back, she says.

Steph’s aware of the challenges and the need to deliver on the expectations of both locals and visitors. “Personally I’m pretty motivated by that. We have a huge responsibility, to take what leaders past and present have achieved here and continue to improve our services.”

She intends to be fully engaged in consultation, working on gaining an understanding of community sentiment and  what happens in Napier at the grassroots level.

“My role is to support and empower the team to deliver positive outcomes for Napier. The Long Term Plan process reinforces this, our community needs to have its say and I need to make sure we can follow through.”

Steph and family have been based in Melbourne for the past five years. As a Deputy Chief for the Victorian Country Fire Authority she held the role of State Response Controller during the 2019/20 Victorian bushfire response and led the state-wide reform of the Victorian fire services.

In September last year, she was seconded to Emergency Management Victoria, as Deputy Commissioner, to coordinate the efforts across multiple Victorian government operations in their efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rotorua born and Otago raised, Steph wanted to work outdoors in a job which complemented her passion for the environment, and began her career in forestry, based in Tokoroa.

She earned a forestry degree in 1997 and was part of a graduate programme which piqued her interest in fi re prevention and control. A Masters in Environmental Science and PhD in Geography followed. “What I learned about mitigating environmental and community impact became important in choices I made later,” she recalls.

In between taking time off for children and a stint at central government, just prior to their move to Australia she spent five years running the Otago Rural Fire  Authority. This was her first real exposure to local government, she says, in terms of the importance of and impact of decision making on community outcomes.

“Australia afforded some incredible experiences for me, but I wanted to be a part of local government. It provides opportunities for collective decision
making and meaningful partnerships. Gone are the days when councils, or any agencies, can operate in isolation. We need to work together.”

The passion for the environment is still there, as is that for sport – mostly as an observer these days - and the opportunities it provides people of all
ages. “For me sports taught me the importance of team work, while building my confidence and allowing me to take on small leadership roles in a safe and fun environment. These opportunities should be accessible to everyone.”

The opportunity to play sport in Hawke's Bay was just one of the things which helped persuade the Rotarangi children that a move back across the Tasman was the right thing to do. Right now Kieran,15, Nina, 14, and Tai, 11, are enjoying a Kiwi summer. “We’re definitely making the most of it.”

What’s on in your city

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